Tuesday, January 16, 2007

A Challenge

Yesterday I received an email from Chris Baty, the founder of National Novel Writing Month. He wrote participants from this past NaNoWriMo with a challenge. It is entitled TYWWBTBFSTT, or The Year We Will Be Trying Big, Fun, Scary Things Together.

His thinking? Each November, we decide on a lofty goal: write 50,000 words. And with the help of caffeine, forgiving loved ones, and finger foods, many succeed. Then we sluggishly return to our routines, just to have a dusty manuscript on our shelves. We pine away for the next November.

So why stop then? If the willpower of thousands is there in November, can't we capitalize on that during the other months of the year? He has challenged us to tackle other 'big, fun, scary things' in the next year.

This intersected with a choice I made in the last couple weeks. Since I am no longer teaching, I am faced with oodles of time in the evenings and weekends. I enjoy having the opportunity to do whatever I want, but I also know I will manage my time better if I have more activities in it. Therefore, I looked into some volunteer opportunities in the Michiana area (for those non-erudite people, Michiana is what you get when you combine Michigan and Indiana. Never fear, for I too was one of the ignorant masses just months previous).

While I may add other volunteer activities, I'm starting with the Literacy Council of St. Joseph County. In it, volunteers tutor adults how to read. To prepare the tutors, fifteen hours of training are provided. Certainly that makes for a busy January for me: starting today, the remaining Tuesday and Thursday evenings of this month are occupied.

Another way I am stepping out of my comfort zone is starting yoga, believe it or not. In order to strengthen my back and neck muscles, which are still fighting complete rehabilitation from my October 2005 car accident, I was encouraged to join a class. I am a neophyte with yoga, so to pay money to do something where I'll make a fool of myself in the beginning is not my normal reasoning. But as long as I make it to the sign-up at 7:30 AM Thursday, I will be enrolled in a class beginning next week. And once I've laid down money, hurricane winds and tornadic activity would have to do their best to pry me away from spending two days a week on a yoga mat. And 'tornadic' is totally a word, because I just looked it up; I saw that double-take and wrinkled brow, but now you know to quit your doubting of my vocabulary because you have been schooled.

So join me. Pick something you'd really like to do, quit putting it off, and commit to accomplishing it this year.

You can learn about what others have committed to on the Adventure Log, 2007!

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